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Guide: School admission appeals

The panel’s decision

How does the panel decide?

The panel considers all the evidence presented and the answers given to any questions during the hearing when making their decision. The panel must balance the prejudice to the school of admitting another child against your reasons for wanting a school place. The appeal panel will decide either:

  • to uphold the appeal – in which case your child will be admitted to the school, or
  • to dismiss the appeal – in which case you will not be offered a place at the school

The decision of the panel is binding on both the parent and the school.

You will be able to phone the appeals clerk the following day for the outcome of your appeal and you will receive a decision letter explaining the reasons for this within 5 working days of the appeal.

Please note: where multiple appeals for the same year at the same school are heard over several days, decisions are not made until after the last appeal is heard.

If your appeal is successful

If your appeal is successful, a place will be made available at the school. For normal round admissions into reception and year 7, a place will be made available for the start of the school term in September. For in-year appeals, you may wish to contact the school directly to arrange a start date.

If your appeal is not successful

If your appeal is unsuccessful, there is no further right of appeal until the following academic year.

If you believe that the appeal panel acted improperly or unreasonably in considering your case, you can complain to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman or, in the case of academies, the Education Skills and Funding Agency (ESFA). The ombudsman can investigate whether the correct procedures were followed but they cannot overturn the decision of the panel.

Withdrawing your appeal

If you change your mind, you can withdraw your appeal. Please email appeals@devon.gov.uk to confirm you want to do this.